In today's trading, investors are looking to extend their gains to three days, tying all the way back to last week's jobs numbers. Today's upswing is powered by earnings beats and the return of monetary policy rumors. Every time the Federal Reserve and European Central Bank exit a policy meeting without committing to any action, talk of market-boosting intervention vanishes for a couple of days... until everyone remembers the global economy still stinks and policymakers would be negligent to sit on their hands, and the rumor mill starts up again.

Let's take a closer look at how the three major indexes are faring and check out several stocks making headlines.



Gain/Loss %

Intraday Value

Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDEX: ^DJI) 66.48 0.51% 13,162.65
Nasdaq 19.75 0.67% 2,987.65
S&P 500 6.54 0.47% 1,397.53

Source: Yahoo! Finance as of 10:45 a.m. EDT.

About 80% of the Dow's components are seeing green, with the biggest gainer being JPMorgan Chase (NYSE: JPM), up 3.6%, because actual intervention by the Fed or ECB would boost financial stocks. Its Spanish compatriot Banco Santandar (NYSE: SAN) is up a slightly larger 3.8%, as a plan to take pressure off Spain's borrowing costs is being formulated.

The biggest headline among Dow components is arguably a clinical trial failure for Johnson & Johnson and Pfizer (NYSE: PFE). Its potential Alzheimer's treatment bapineuzumab failed another late-stage trial and the companies have pulled the plug. Most investors had written off the drug's chances as anything but a long shot at best, so J&J is down only half a percent, with Pfizer is down 1.7%. However, part of their ability to shrug off the disappointment is their sheer size; smaller pharma partner Elan (NYSE: ELN) is down 7% after paring back earlier losses.

Speculative stocks hold the allure of substantial short-term gains, and drug approvals are often a key catalyst. But there are arguably better and more stable approaches to building long-term wealth and retiring well. In our free report, "3 Stocks That Will Help You Retire Rich," we reveal some stocks that could help you, as well as some winning wealth-building strategies. Click here to keep reading.